9.15 Saline hydrides are known to react with water violently producing fire. Can CO2, a well known fire extinguisher, be used in this case? Explain.

Saline hydrides (i.e., NaH, LiH, etc.) react with water to form a base and hydrogen gas. The chemical equation used to represent the reaction can be written as:

The reaction is violent and produces fire.The reaction is violent and produces fire.

${\mathrm{CO}}_{2}$ is heavier than dioxygen. It is used as a fire extinguisher because it covers the fire as a blanket and inhibits the supply of dioxygen, thereby dousing the fire.

${\mathrm{CO}}_{2}$ can be used in the present case as well. It is heavier than dihydrogen and will be effective in isolating the burning surface from dihydrogen and dioxygen.